Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Built for comfort, not built for speed

Lynn was blogging about her Grandma today, which was odd, because I was thinking about mine.

It was knitting that did it. I learned to knit when I was a teenager, and my main time to do it was in the car on long journeys. However this meant being seated next to my Grandma: trapped, like a caged animal in a zoo, unable to escape her critical gaze.

She would watch for a while. I would know she was watching. I would knit defensively, trying to wedge myself into the car door. I knew what was coming, and it always did.

"You don't knit t'gain way." (This is Yorkshire dialect for "Your knitting style is a very slow and laborious one". 'Gain' is from the Old Norse, 'gegn', apparently, and it's not something she made up at all. Though Mr Coffee and I were convinced that she did make dialect words up, and as she was older and more Yorkshire than any of us we couldn't contradict her. One day I'll tell you all about Dick's hatband, and how queer it was, and no-one will understand what I'm going on about.)

Knitting again after a 20 year break means that, God rest her soul, I don't have to listen to her complaining about how slow I am. And I think I do okay.

Certainly the Littlest Latte was happy cuddling up to her new hot water bottle cover, knitted with the yarn that Mr Coffee brought back from the market but forbade me to make into anything that would be on show because it was such a bright red.

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I may not be super-speedy - but I'm a whole project down. And yes, for you aficionados, that IS moss stitch, and I am officially a genius.


  1. Nowt wrong wi that hen.

    My father is from a long line of Yorkshireman and used to make us roll about the floor as kids laughing at his funny phrases. We were brought up abroad (hence very RP).

  2. Oooh it looks lovely! a shame that you don't have the most positive memory of knitting with grandma. x

  3. Big Lad and I want to know if your grandmother used the words "wick," "graidely" or "wutherin'" (can you tell that we recently read The Secret Garden?).

    I can't believe you pretended to be a crummy knitter. Moss stitch? I'm going to hang my head and cry. (We were thinking about grandmas AND hot water bottle covers simultaneously, by the way. SPOOKY.)

  4. Whoa - you are right about the colour. She's not going to loose that in the middle of the night is she?

    But there was me urging you on to knit a humble square, and you go and produce an entire hot water bottle cover. I think you should keep going. You'll be knitting whole cable-lace socks soon if you don't watch out.

    My family are from Yorkshire and my Ma and Grandma have some excellent pieces of dialect that I think are perfectly normal but which my London children find plain bizarre. Wick and wutherin are amongst those phrases.

    N. xx

  5. Ooo I love accents and dialect, which is good considering my own fairly dire accent. We say 'duck' alot around here - as in 'ay up duck' and 'ast goin up 'Anley duck?'. Most confusing to random visitors.

  6. Every time I try moss stitch I give up or lose count, so yes, to my mind you are a genius.


    What a cozy-looking hot water bottle cover--in a bright candy-apple red--with BUTTONS. Love it! Adorable.

    I plan to steal it from LL when she's not looking.

    I didn't even know you were a knitter. Now I feel left out. I cannot knit. I am knitting impaired...although I've never actually tried. Maybe there's still hope.

    Please come to Germany and teach me to knit hot water bottle covers. We really could use them here, you know.

  8. That is a fab hot water bottle which makes you feel warm just to look at it. Lucky Miss Latte (jr)


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